No relief to ex-Bank official in Rs 5Kcr fraud case; court denies bail

A Delhi court on Thursday denied extending relief to an ex-Andhra Bank official in a money laundering case citing he may hamper the investigation if enlarged on bail. The Rs 5,000 crore fraud also involves a Gujarat-based pharma firm.

Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma denied relief to accused Anup Prakash Garg, noting that the stage was not fit for grant of bail.

The court took note of the submissions made by advocate Nitesh Rana, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, who said the investigation was still underway and the accused played a key role in money laundering.

“The accused may hamper with the investigation if enlarged on bail. Considering his offence, he does not deserve bail,” Rana had said.

In his bail application, Garg had said he was not the main accused in the case and had always cooperated with the investigation, even before his arrest. He said he was in custody for 109 days and the charge sheet against him has already been filed, so he was not required for the further probe.

Garg was arrested by the probe agency on January 12 and is currently in judicial custody. He was one of the three people arrested in the case. The agency had in November last year held Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan, who is currently on bail.

Besides Dhawan and Garg, the ED has also arrested Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, one of the directors of the pharma firm, who is currently in the agency’s custody for interrogation. All three were arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED had lodged the money laundering case after taking cognisance of an FIR registered by the CBI.

The CBI had booked Garg, the firm Sterling Biotech, its directors Dixit, Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, chartered accountant Hemant Hathi and some unidentified persons in connection with the case. It had alleged that the company took loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank, which turned into non-performing assets.

The FIR had also alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016. It had alleged that “various cash payments were made to Garg, as reflected in the said entries, on the instructions of the Sandesara brothers, by withdrawing cash from the bank accounts of several benami companies owned by them”.

It had alleged that Garg infused several crores of his unaccounted money in various companies through several Kolkata-based bogus shell companies, with the help of cash or cheque entry operators in Kolkata, in order to launder the proceeds of crime obtained by him from the Sandesaras.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *